May 2019 Wrap Up

Well another month is over and a new one has begun, so I thought I had better reflect on May. In my reflection of May I realise just how little reading I did. No wonder I’ve felt stressed, if I don’t read enough I always get grumpy. June I must read more!

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you for all the likes and comments in May and also a big hello to my new followers, I hope you will enjoy reading my blog.

There were good elements of May on the blog, for one thing we celebrated Star Wars Day and I have decided to tackle my first every reading challenge over the Summer, which I am very excited about.

Sadly, I only managed to read 5 rather short books over May. Here they are (if you click the picture it will take you to the review):-

Star Sullivan by Maeve Binchy

9780752879543

128 pages

3/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Garden by Graham Greene

115390

87 pages

3/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brontesaurus: An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell) by John Sutherland

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176 pages

5/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

44953207

324 pages

5/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Many Coincidences by Jeffrey Archer

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40 pages

1/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages:- 755

Total pages this year so far: 7420

Rather disappointing I know but fingers crossed for a better month in June.

 

Poems Celebrated in May 2019

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Life by Charlotte Bronte

There Is No Frigate Like A Book by Emily Dickinson

Mary Celeste by Judith Nicholls

The Throstle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

Quotes Celebrated in May 2019

Laozi

William Congreve

Robert Frost

George Eliot

Claude Debussy

 

So that is my month of May, hopefully June will be better on the reading front. I hope you all had a good May and have some exciting plans for June.

Please drop me a link to your May Wrap Ups I would love to read them.

Happy Reading.

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Friday Poetry

Today’s chosen poem was chosen because I have always been interested in the mystery of Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste washed up on the shores of the Azores islands on the 5th December 1872, the crew were nowhere to be seen, the cargo was undisturbed and the ship was completely unscathed and still able to sail. The mystery still remains unsolved.

Mary Celeste

Only the wind sings
in the riggings,
the hull creaks a lullaby;
a sail lifts gently
like a message
pinned to a vacant sky.
The wheel turns
over bare decks,
shirts flap on a line;
only the song of the lapping waves
beats steady time…


First mate,
off-duty from
the long dawn watch, begins
a letter to his wife, daydreams
of home.

The Captain’s wife is late;
the child did not sleep
and breakfast has passed…
She, too, is missing home;
sits down at last to eat,
but can’t quite force
the porridge down.
She swallows hard,
slices the top from her egg.

The second mate
is happy
A four-hour sleep,
full stomach
and a quiet sea
are all he craves

The child now sleeps, at last,
head firmly pressed into her pillow
in a deep sea-dream.

Then why are the gulls wheeling
like vultures in the sky?
Why was the child snatched
from her sleep? What drew
the Captain’s cry?


Only the wind replies
in the rigging,
and the hull creaks and sighs,
a sail spells out its message
over silent skies.
The wheel still turns
over bare decks,
shirts blow on the line;
the siren-song of lapping waves
still echoes over time.

Judith Nicholls

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a fab weekend planned.

Mid Week Quote: George Eliot

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

My chosen quote this week is by George Eliot.

There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.

George Eliot

George Eliot, whose real name was Mary Ann Evans was born in 1819. She was an English author, poet, journalist and translator and one of the most popular authors in the Victorian era. She passed away in 1880.

Happy reading.

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen (ARC Review)

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

About the author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Blurb

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks. 

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

Review

Thank you to NetGalley and BHC Press for granting me an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.

I was so happy that my request on NetGalley was granted for this book and a couple of days ago I started the book and to be honest finished it in a matter of hours, I simply could not put it down. Even though the book has not been published yet I am desperate for the sequel to be published.

I found the story to immediately hook me in and wanted to keep reading, the idea of a forgotten language and god suddenly arising after thousands of years was fascinating. I also thoroughly enjoyed the idea of magicians existing in the world for thousands of years hidden from mankind but one human has managed to get through to them and that person is Dr Penelope Bryne.

Penelope has always loved the mystery of Atlantis and even though people make fun of her she never gives up trying to find it and prove that it exists. I loved her drive and passion in the book, she is a massively strong character but also has her weaknesses but she knows how to control this using her yoga and meditation practises. I have never had much time for yoga but reading this book has made me want to try it again.

The setting of the book was beautifully chosen, what better place to choose than Venice? I would love to visit Venice because it always strikes me as a magical place especially when Carnivale is taking place. I hope in the next books Venice will feature heavily and we get to see more of the catacombs and hidden parts of Venice.

The seven magicians were brilliant as they all have their own individual characters which comes through their magic. So each magician engages their magic differently depending on how their magic is formed and created. They all reminded me of Greek Gods and by their descriptions they look like Greek Gods as well. Although they also seem like teenagers when left unattended by a responsible person for too long. All in all it seems like a fun place to be when they are all playing around.

I loved this book so much I have actually pre-ordered the hardback of the book to read again and hopefully one day will have a hardback sequel to add to the collection. I highly recommend this book to fantasy and history lovers. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons and cannot wait to read it again.

To Purchase

Waterstones

Friday Poetry

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope everyone has bookish plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem for this week celebrates books, so it is a brilliant poem obviously.

There Is No Frigate Like A Book

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Travel may the poorest take
Without offence of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human soul.

Emily Dickinson


Emily Dickinson 1830-1886 and was an American poet. While Dickinson was a prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly 1800 poems were published during her lifetime. The poems published then, were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems were unique for her era.

The Brontësaurus: An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë (and Bramwell) by John Sutherland (Review)

The Brontësaurus: An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë (and Bramwell) by John Sutherland

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About the author

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John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus at University College London and an eminent scholar in the field of Victorian fiction. He has published many books including a literary puzzle book called Who is Dracula’s Father?

Blurb

Did Charlotte Brontë take opium? Did the Reverend Brontë carry a loaded pistol? What, precisely, does ‘wuthering’ mean? 

Distinguished literary critic John Sutherland takes an idiosyncratic look at the world of the Brontës, from the bumps on Charlotte’s head to the nefarious origins of Mr Rochester’s fortune, by way of astral telephony, letter-writing dogs, an exploding peat bog, and much, much more. 

Also features ‘Jane Eyre abbreviated’ by John Crace, author of the Guardian’s ‘Digested Reads’ column – read Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece in five minutes!

Review

I received this book as a Christmas present off my sister in law last Christmas and since then it has been on one of my many TBR piles around the house. When I was waiting for a student to arrive this week I picked up the book and started reading and to be honest I was hooked.

I loved reading this book as it was a fresh take on the Brontë history and not to be taken completely seriously. Most of it I knew as I have read a lot about the Brontës and have visited the Brontë museum twice in recent years. I did realise a lot of it was Sutherlands’s opinions and some of them to be honest were rather sexist but considering he was thinking in Victorian terms I will forgive him, just this once.

I really liked how the book was laid out and that it was short snippets of information which were easy to digest and engaging. The only issue that drove me slightly insane was the constant see this below or above. I could have easily done without that as I found it broke up the narrative.

Bramwell the somewhat forgotten Brontë is mentioned quite a bit in this book which I found interesting as I did not know that much about him. It also made me feel slightly sorry for the poor man as I think generally too much was asked from him and he could not cope.

Charlotte I believe was not portrayed in a good light and yes I know that she could have destroyed a lot of her sisters’ works etc but none of this is proven. I want to believe that she did all her actions for a good cause and wanted to protect her siblings’ reputations rather than promote her own.

The history of the Brontës always makes me feel rather sad as they had such hard and short lives. However, this book showed me the good elements, like their love of animals and the little things in life. It made me smile and happy to realise that although cut short they tried to live their lives to the best.

All in all I enjoyed this book immensely and could not put it down which is unusual for me as I usually struggle with nonfiction books and tend to steer clear of them. Due to these reasons I have rated the book 5 out of 5 Dragons. If you love all things Brontë I highly recommend it.

To Purchase

Waterstones Hardback

Waterstones Paperback

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Lady Book Dragon

Friday Poetry

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope you all have a good weekend planned.

This weeks poem has been chosen because I am currently reading a book about the Brontë’s and I am thoroughly enjoying it. So I decided to choose a poem by Charlotte Brontë.

 

Life

Life, believe, is not a dream

So dark as sages say;

Oft a little morning rain

Foretells a pleasant day.

Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,

But these are transient all;

If the shower will make the roses bloom,

O why lament its fall?

Rapidly, merrily,

Life’s sunny hours flit by,

Gratefully, cheerily

Enjoy them as they fly!

What though Death at times steps in,

And calls our Best away?

What though sorrow seems to win,

O’er hope, a heavy sway?

Yet Hope again elastic springs,

Unconquered, though she fell;

Still buoyant are her golden wings,

Still strong to bear us well.

Manfully, fearlessly,

The day of trial bear,

For gloriously, victoriously,

Can courage quell despair!

 

Charlotte Brontë

 

Lady Book Dragon.